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UK racing venues: the definitive list


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#251 DouglasM

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Posted 17 May 2019 - 02:03

In my dotage I can vaguely remember going to something about 50 years ago that I can only describe as a autocross near Pitlochry in Perthshire, Scotland. It seemed to be rather a parochial gathering! Any thoughts?



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#252 Vitesse2

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Posted 17 May 2019 - 06:34

Dunkeswell Sprint, nr Honiton, Burnham-on-Sea/Weston-super-Mare Motor Clubs, 9 May 1971

FTD Geoff Inglis, (Brabham BT14/21 Ford S/C 1.6), 2m 21.1 secs

Motoring News, 13 May 1971

 

RGDS RLT 

On the former RAF Dunkeswell, originally built for the Fleet Air Arm, but mainly used by American anti-sub patrols.

 

https://www.southwes....uk/page16.html

 

Also now the home of the Our Noige Kart Club:

 

https://mansellkartclub.co.uk/history/



#253 john aston

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Posted 18 May 2019 - 06:02

I wonder if HIgh Eggborough , in what was then the West Riding of Yorkshire , rings any bells? It was the venue for De Lacey Club organised autocross . , before rallycross effectively superseded it . Held in an old sand pit ,with elevated viewing . A regular haunt of the legendary Colin 'Mad Dan' Grewer , whose Volvo engined  Mark 1 Cortina was usually at the front .



#254 Rupertlt1

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Posted 08 June 2019 - 13:54

1936: Lullingstone Park Speed Trials, described as "near Orpington, in Kent" about 600 yards, loose gravel.

See Motor Sport, July 1936, Page 329.

 

Any other events held here?

 

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Edited by Rupertlt1, 08 June 2019 - 13:57.


#255 Rupertlt1

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Posted 19 July 2019 - 03:22

Edzell, Saturday 20 June 1959

15,000 plus spectators

Joint car and motorcycle meeting

"S. Hart in a Formula 2 Cooper did the three mile circuit at 95.6 m.p.h."

 

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#256 fuzzi

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Posted 19 July 2019 - 05:12

RAF Edzell was leased to the US Navy in 1959 and after a try out by a group of enthusiasts (who included Jim Clark with his Porsche) it not used after June 1959 in the original form as the US Navy's security needs changed. However after the RAF gave up their occupation in 1988 it was used in 2004 for four meetings over a shorter one-mile circuit by the Bon accord MC of Aberdeen. Problems with a local land owner mean the end of racing at Edzell.

 

On Lullingstone; I didn't find any more events after that in June 1936. The Riley MC did attract some good entries with BTD going to Dennis Scribbans in ERA R9B (24.10sec)  ahead of Freddie Dixon with a supercharged Riley (24.13sec). I've not found any other mention of FWD supercharging a Riley...


Edited by fuzzi, 19 July 2019 - 05:17.


#257 Rupertlt1

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Posted 12 October 2019 - 14:36

"Great Staughton Hill Climb" w/e of 24/25 April, 1954. Organisers: Cambridge 50 Club; Bedford Auto Enthusiasts' Club.

7/8 of a mile, no straights. Competitors included Don Moore, Jim Coplin.

 

Edit: I have the Cambridge 50 C.C. running a closed speed trial at Tempsford, 25th April 1954 (As published by the R.A.C.) 

 

More: I have the Cambridge 50 C.C. running a closed hill climb at Great Chishall, 19th September 1954 (As published by the R.A.C.) 

Also listed in Motor Sport, Sept 1954, Page 500.

 

Sprint meeting at Bawtry, Sept/Oct 1954.

 

S.O.D.C. Closed Invitation Sprint at Hastings, 16th October 1954.

Also listed in Motor Sport, Oct 1954, Page 564.

 

RGDS RLT


Edited by Rupertlt1, 12 October 2019 - 16:19.


#258 Rupertlt1

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Posted 12 October 2019 - 15:31

Bushmead Speed Trial, 25th April 1954.

Two-thirds mile course.

BTD Henry Taylor, Cooper-Vincent, 54.75 sec

(Source: Autosport, 7 May 1954. It says "Results published in last week's issue.")

 

Edit: "a disused airfield about four miles from St Neots."

 

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Organised by Bedford Auto Enthusiasts' Club (As published by the R.A.C.)

 

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Edited by Rupertlt1, 12 October 2019 - 15:31.


#259 MCS

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Posted 12 October 2019 - 20:36

Organised by Bedford Auto Enthusiasts' Club (As published by the R.A.C.)

 

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... Bushmead Speed Trial, 25th April 1954.

Two-thirds mile course.

BTD Henry Taylor, Cooper-Vincent, 54.75 sec

(Source: Autosport, 7 May 1954. It says "Results published in last week's issue.")

 

Edit: "a disused airfield about four miles from St Neots." ...

 

RAF Little Staughton then, west of St Neots and next to Bushmead Priory.  Light aircraft only these days, but with a WW2 history and once the home of Royale Racing Cars.



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#260 Dick Dastardly

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Posted 12 October 2019 - 20:51

There used to be [maybe still are] annual Car Sandocross meetings on the beach at Weston-Super-Mare....I spectated at the 2003 event.

Southport also held Sandocross meetings in the late 60s / early 70s.

 

Was there ever any Kart or Bike racing at Silloth in NW Cumbria? I can remember going there one weekend as a young kid.....but maybe my mind is playing tricks and I could have seen Karts and Bikes at Flookborough another time.   



#261 Geoff E

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Posted 13 October 2019 - 08:21

Silloth Facebook group  https://www.facebook...loth-Road-Races

 

There's also a museum at Silloth https://www.facebook...lothmotorbikes/



#262 LittleChris

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Posted 13 October 2019 - 17:04

Silloth was the place where Gary Hislop, Steve's younger ( and apparently more highly rated ) brother, lost his life unfortunately.



#263 Geoff E

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Posted 13 October 2019 - 20:10

In Herefordshire -

 

Froome's Hill Motor Climb

Friday May 3rd 1907

 

Photo Post Cards (Price 2d each) of this event will be published to-morrow (Saturday)

 

They will include interesting pictures of-

The Competing Cars at Foot of the Hill. Cars Half-way up the Hill.

Cars reaching the Top of the Hill. Also several groups of Spectators' Cars.

 

Map of area http://www.streetmap...46471&A=Y&Z=120

 

Fastest times were made by "two Daimler Cars" - one of them was registration DU 442

 

Allegedly 110 cars took part.  A letter from a local councillor in the Leominster News (etc) on 17 May commented that the passage of the cars had a less detrimental effect on the road surface than a few carts of manure.

 

The road was described in the Leominster News of 10th May 1907-

The Frome's Hill which is midway between Hereford and Worcester is 1289 yards long, with a gradient at the top of about 1 in 6, while the average gradient is about 11.22. It is a "driver's hill" pure and simple. The distance was timed from a standing start to a flying finish, the total rise being just over 114 yards, the gradient at the steepest part being a "stiff pimple" as motorists like to call anything exacting.


Edited by Geoff E, 13 October 2019 - 20:30.


#264 Rupertlt1

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Posted 20 October 2019 - 13:09

14 May 1950

Herts County A. & A.C. Closed.

Speed Trial, Beechwood Park

 

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#265 Rupertlt1

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Posted 16 November 2019 - 04:39

Margate & District Car Club sprint, Manston, 12 June 1966.

 

"...second annual President's Sprint Meeting"

 

RGDS RLT  


Edited by Rupertlt1, 20 November 2019 - 17:50.


#266 Perruqueporte

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Posted 16 November 2019 - 08:43

On the former RAF Dunkeswell, originally built for the Fleet Air Arm, but mainly used by American anti-sub patrols.

https://www.southwes....uk/page16.html

Also now the home of the Our Noige Kart Club:

https://mansellkartclub.co.uk/history/



#267 Perruqueporte

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Posted 16 November 2019 - 08:49

I attended our local history society earlier this week, when the talk was about Dunkeswell airfield and Upottery (Smeetharpe) airfield. Both were constructed during WW2 and one thing I learned which fascinated me was that at the beginning of the war, many of this country’s civil engineering and construction firms (with names like Bovis and Mowlem etc.) were actually conscripted and put under the command of the services.

Christopher W.

#268 Vitesse2

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Posted 16 November 2019 - 23:59

I attended our local history society earlier this week, when the talk was about Dunkeswell airfield and Upottery (Smeetharpe) airfield. Both were constructed during WW2 and one thing I learned which fascinated me was that at the beginning of the war, many of this country’s civil engineering and construction firms (with names like Bovis and Mowlem etc.) were actually conscripted and put under the command of the services.

Christopher W.

http://www.arcom.ac....-0856_Potts.pdf



#269 Stephen W

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Posted 17 November 2019 - 08:30

I attended our local history society earlier this week, when the talk was about Dunkeswell airfield and Upottery (Smeetharpe) airfield. Both were constructed during WW2 and one thing I learned which fascinated me was that at the beginning of the war, many of this country’s civil engineering and construction firms (with names like Bovis and Mowlem etc.) were actually conscripted and put under the command of the services.

Christopher W.

 

The RAF also "recruited" stone-masons and quarrymen. I believe there was a standard set of plans and dependant on the land available and the normal wind direction the construction teams built one of the standard options (e.g. Thruxton and Woodvale have identical layouts).



#270 Perruqueporte

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Posted 17 November 2019 - 20:58

http://www.arcom.ac....-0856_Potts.pdf

The RAF also "recruited" stone-masons and quarrymen. I believe there was a standard set of plans and dependant on the land available and the normal wind direction the construction teams built one of the standard options (e.g. Thruxton and Woodvale have identical layouts).

That’s is fascinating, and an aspect of the war that I knew nothing about. Thank you. The sheer numbers are extraordinary.

Christopher W.

Edited by Perruqueporte, 17 November 2019 - 20:59.


#271 Stephen W

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Posted 18 November 2019 - 08:37

That’s is fascinating, and an aspect of the war that I knew nothing about. Thank you. The sheer numbers are extraordinary.

Christopher W.

 

I borrowed a book about British Airfields (World War 2 Airfields by Philip Birtles) and noticed the number of identical layouts. I then met a stone mason who helped layout the airfields and source the foundation material.

 

In fact I have just spotted a copy on EBay and made the purchase!


Edited by Stephen W, 18 November 2019 - 08:41.


#272 D-Type

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Posted 18 November 2019 - 16:25

I also read somewhere that in some cases instead of hardcore or crushed rock they used wood chips as the sub-base for runways and perimeter tracks but I have been unable to substantiate this.  Has anyone else seen this?



#273 glyn parham

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Posted 18 November 2019 - 20:05

During my career as a land surveyor in the south east of England (in local government) I had the task of surveying the former RAF West Malling.
Originally built as Maidstone aerodrome in the 30's it was commandeered by the War Office and enlarged in time to be a prominent Battle of Britain airfield.
In 1944 the airfield was closed down and rebuilt with standard War Office designed buildings from hangars to mess blocks, Air Traffic Control Tower to Operation Blocks.
During our survey in 1978 or thereabouts we found paper copies, dated 1944, of the majority of buildings to be found at West Malling and they were all marked with the appropriate type numbers used by Air Ministry architects.
I wish I still had access to those drawings to show but they were proof of the fact that standard designs were used, probably for cost effectiveness, so that airmen knew their way round an airfield no matter which one they were based at.
Glyn

#274 Vitesse2

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Posted 18 November 2019 - 22:44

I also read somewhere that in some cases instead of hardcore or crushed rock they used wood chips as the sub-base for runways and perimeter tracks but I have been unable to substantiate this.  Has anyone else seen this?

A tar/woodchip mix was used on the runway surfaces of some heavy bomber bases. Perhaps that's what you're thinking of? This had two purposes - it was easier on the tyres than concrete when landing and, because the woodchip could be dyed, it also acted as a form of camouflage for the base. If you consult reports of the Elstree Sprint on Easter Monday 1946, you'll find it's mentioned!

 

This type of surface is noted in (for example) the entry for Foulsham in Aviation Landmarks - Norfolk and Suffolk by Peter B. Gunn.



#275 D-Type

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Posted 18 November 2019 - 23:06

That could well be what I read.



#276 Stephen W

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Posted 19 November 2019 - 10:07

I also read somewhere that in some cases instead of hardcore or crushed rock they used wood chips as the sub-base for runways and perimeter tracks but I have been unable to substantiate this.  Has anyone else seen this?

 

For boggy ground large bundles of heather were also used as a "sub-base".



#277 Perruqueporte

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Posted 19 November 2019 - 15:40

I also read somewhere that in some cases instead of hardcore or crushed rock they used wood chips as the sub-base for runways and perimeter tracks but I have been unable to substantiate this.  Has anyone else seen this?

  

A tar/woodchip mix was used on the runway surfaces of some heavy bomber bases. Perhaps that's what you're thinking of? This had two purposes - it was easier on the tyres than concrete when landing and, because the woodchip could be dyed, it also acted as a form of camouflage for the base. If you consult reports of the Elstree Sprint on Easter Monday 1946, you'll find it's mentioned!
 
This type of surface is noted in (for example) the entry for Foulsham in Aviation Landmarks - Norfolk and Suffolk by Peter B. Gunn.

  

For boggy ground large bundles of heather were also used as a "sub-base".


I wonder that could partly explain why grip can vary a lot on airfield circuits? When I raced motorcycles we competed at a number of airfield circuits. For example, in Norfolk Sculthorpe was extremely grippy, while West Raynham was much less so. And Colerne in Wiltshire was also grippy except for the runway (on which aircraft leaked kerosene!). If they were all built to wartime specs you would expect them to feel similar, but if they included various materials to address local conditions as described, that would explain things.

Christopher W.

#278 Stephen W

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Posted 20 November 2019 - 08:09

A lot of events held on old airfields ran on multiple surfaces i.e. concrete, asphalt and tarmac. Elvington was one which had all three. The grip levels in all weather conditions seemed to vary significantly.



#279 Steve99

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Posted 20 November 2019 - 09:17

Since moving to Lincolnshire, which I was led to believe is flat, I've been exploring long lost hillclimb venues. So far, me and my little MR2 have found Cawkwell, Bully and Tetford Hills to be excellent fun. All at no more than the speed limit, of course...This is a great thread.



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#280 Rupertlt1

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Posted 22 November 2019 - 01:11

Club uses ring road

for first sprint

The eight-month-old Tel-

ford Motor Club held its first

sprint on a course borrowed

from the Telford Develop-

ment Corporation yesterday.

Completed only 48 hours

before the start, the course

for the Vincent Greenhous

Sprint was a ring road built

in preparation for housing de-

velopment.

Among the 32 competitors

were a number of R A C

Championship contenders.

John McCartney, driving a

P153 B R M sprung a sur-

prise by returning fastest

time of the day and beating

both John Ravenscroft and

Bob Rose.

FTD: John McCartney (BRM P153 3000 c.c.) 24.94 

Birmingham Daily Post, Monday 30 April 1973

 

RGDS RLT



#281 pete53

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Posted 22 November 2019 - 12:24

I've just done a search and I don't think Alton Towers has been mentioned as a venue? I have a programme from the 1950s for a motor bike race meeting.



#282 LittleChris

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Posted 22 November 2019 - 22:17

Pretty sure its been mentioned somewhere Pete, perhaps not in this thread though 



#283 fuzzi

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Posted 23 November 2019 - 06:24

Alton Towers along with 800+ other venues has an entry in Motorsport Explorer. Copies available from many secondhand bookshops. This is a shameless plug. 

 

Copies of the places index available from me at hunt4us@outlook.com.



#284 D-Type

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Posted 23 November 2019 - 16:01

Alton Towers along with 800+ other venues has an entry in Motorsport Explorer. Copies available from many secondhand bookshops. This is a shameless plug. 

 

Copies of the places index available from me at hunt4us@outlook.com.

I suspect that many posts on this thread are based on your book.  And I think that many of the authors of those that are not need to read it.
The trouble is that good books seldom reach the secondhand shops.


Edited by D-Type, 23 November 2019 - 16:06.


#285 Allan Lupton

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Posted 23 November 2019 - 16:26

Alton Towers along with 800+ other venues has an entry in Motorsport Explorer. Copies available from many secondhand bookshops. This is a shameless plug. 

 

Copies of the places index available from me at hunt4us@outlook.com.

Eight of 'em on ABEbooks at present, but 6 are in North America and are quite/very expensive to buy and post.



#286 dgs

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Posted 24 November 2019 - 09:31

Eight of 'em on ABEbooks at present, but 6 are in North America and are quite/very expensive to buy and post.

Lots of copies of Motorsport Explorer available on Amazon, both second hand and new copies at prices (£26.00 second hand,, £38.00 new, including postage.

Purchased my copy as soon as it was available. An excellent source of information on British circuits (THE BEST AVAILABLE)



#287 Vitesse2

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Posted 24 November 2019 - 10:45

Save yourselves the trouble of hunting through multiple book websites and use Vialibri, gents! You can customise it to search any or all Amazon sites, ABE, Zvab, etc etc - plus seller websites not on search engines and even eBay 'buy it nows'.

 

https://www.vialibri.net/



#288 Rupertlt1

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Posted 30 November 2019 - 12:22

Nottingham Sports Car Club, Ossington Sprint (near Newark), Whit Monday, 1954

Autosport, July 2, 1954

 

RGDS RLT



#289 Vitesse2

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Posted 01 December 2019 - 11:35

Nottingham Sports Car Club, Ossington Sprint (near Newark), Whit Monday, 1954

Autosport, July 2, 1954

 

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Presumably the former RAF station - see the comments below about people using it for driving instruction and karting.

 

http://www.ournottin...ington_airfield



#290 john aston

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Posted 02 December 2019 - 08:10

Since moving to Lincolnshire, which I was led to believe is flat, I've been exploring long lost hillclimb venues. So far, me and my little MR2 have found Cawkwell, Bully and Tetford Hills to be excellent fun. All at no more than the speed limit, of course...This is a great thread.

If I may go OT for a moment ,as a former Lincoln resident I was quickly disabused of its alleged flatness within minutes of arriving for my first job interview . I thought I had died and gone to heaven when I first drove over the Wolds to Cadwell. Still do actually, and  the drive  from my Band B at Bully hill Top to the circuit is still a joy .

 

Tried the drive down the backroads to Bourne yet?   



#291 Rupertlt1

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Posted 14 December 2019 - 21:53

S.U.N.B.A.C. Cofton Hackett speed trial, 11 May 1946, 660 yards course

 

See also: https://forums.autos...n/#entry8967334

 

RGDS RLT


Edited by Rupertlt1, 14 December 2019 - 21:54.


#292 Vitesse2

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Posted 14 December 2019 - 22:47

S.U.N.B.A.C. Cofton Hackett speed trial, 11 May 1946, 660 yards course

 

See also: https://forums.autos...n/#entry8967334

 

RGDS RLT

First of two events in 1946. That one was restricted to MMEC and SUNBAC members. Second (open) event was run by the MMEC on October 12th. Both won by Bob Gerard in ERA R14B. Cofton Hackett was the Austin Motor Company's private aerodrome, built in 1917 as part of their aircraft-building operations during the Great War, and had taken on the same role again after a shadow aircraft factory was opened in 1938.



#293 Jhdrussell

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Posted 14 December 2019 - 23:06

First of two events in 1946. That one was restricted to MMEC and SUNBAC members. Second (open) event was run by the MMEC on October 12th. Both won by Bob Gerard in ERA R14B.

You are incorrect.

Bob Gerard drove ERA R4A at the May 1946 event, and only drove R14B at the October 1946 event.



#294 moffspeed

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Posted 15 December 2019 - 11:59

Just an aviation aside on 3 of the Welsh venues - Llandow, Pembrey and the lesser known sprint venue at Talbenny near Haverford West.

 

Llandow was the site in 1950 of, what was then, the worst aviation disaster in history. An Avro Tudor 5 chartered by rugby fans was returning from the Ireland v Wales International when it crashed on finals into Llandow. The plane had been adapted with additional seating to the rear of the fuselage, the resultant alteration in CoG allied to the fact that the Tudors were never the most stable of aircraft resulted in a stall and a crash to earth. There was no fire but the impact still accounted for 80 lives. Unlike Aberfan during the following decade this disaster seemed to fade from the Nation's memory relatively quickly.

 

Talbenny was a (very) active RAF station during WW2 but suffered its own share of tragedy. A damaged B-24 Liberator crash-landed just short of the airfield with the loss of 11 lives in 1943, whilst the previous year Wellington T2564 of 311 Squadron took off from Talbenny for RAF Northolt but crash landed in Ruislip as it approached its destination. 21 died including schoolchildren on the ground.

 

On a relatively lighter note Pembrey was the venue for one of WW2's more bizarre incidents. Oberleutnant Armin Faber had been engaged in a dogfight over the West Country in 1942. He became disorientated and having removed himself from battle flew North over the Bristol Channel in the belief that he was flying South over La Manche. He mistook RAF Pembrey for a Luftwaffe base in Northern France. No doubt relieved, he taxi'd in only to be apprehended by Sergeant Jeffreys, the duty officer, who jumped onto a wing and threatened him with a Very pistol. Obviously the RAF relished the opportunity to forensically examine the very latest FW 190 A-3, a plane that was causing them great concern at the time, in undamaged condition...



#295 Steve99

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Posted 16 December 2019 - 10:13

If I may go OT for a moment ,as a former Lincoln resident I was quickly disabused of its alleged flatness within minutes of arriving for my first job interview . I thought I had died and gone to heaven when I first drove over the Wolds to Cadwell. Still do actually, and  the drive  from my Band B at Bully hill Top to the circuit is still a joy .

 

Tried the drive down the backroads to Bourne yet?   

 

Done many a route to Bourne John, wonderful roads that way if you avoid the 'big' ones! 



#296 BMWTeamBigazzi

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Posted 18 December 2019 - 11:52

Crail Raceway in Fife (Scotland) is still very much active. It's a quarter mile drag strip with a drifting oval. Not really a major motorsports facility, but more of a place where car and bike nuts can brag, show off and thrash their motors into oblivion in a safe environment. 

 

https://www.crailrac.../wp/activities/



#297 Rupertlt1

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Posted 19 December 2019 - 04:10

Herefordshire M.C., Madley Aerodrome, 12 July 1952

(also August 1951, mile-and-a-half circuit)

 

RGDS RLT


Edited by Rupertlt1, 19 December 2019 - 04:12.


#298 Rupertlt1

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Posted 07 January 2020 - 15:22

For more hillclimb venues see: https://forums.autos...n/#entry8972030

 

RGDS RLT



#299 D-Type

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Posted 07 January 2020 - 16:06

Crail Raceway in Fife (Scotland) is still very much active. It's a quarter mile drag strip with a drifting oval. Not really a major motorsports facility, but more of a place where car and bike nuts can brag, show off and thrash their motors into oblivion in a safe environment. 

 

https://www.crailrac.../wp/activities/

Was it not previously a Kart track?